Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman began throwing and taking groundballs today for the first time since going on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, and the Nationals are hoping he'll be ready to return Sunday when he's eligible.
Brad Lidge, meanwhile, had surgery today in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia, a procedure that should sideline the veteran reliever about one month.
Zimmerman, who last played April 20, has remained with the club for the last week and today started participating in pregame fielding drills for the first time. He won't be cleared to start hitting until later in the week, but that won't necessarily keep the Nationals from activating him off the 15-day DL when he becomes eligible on Sunday.
"I'd activate him right away," manager Davey Johnson said with a laugh. "That'll be up to Zim, see how he's feeling. In talking to the doctors, I don't think it's going to be something that can be re-injured swinging. I think it's more hitting the ground. I think that's how he aggravated it. I'll wait til later in the week, talk to Zim and the doctors and see how it's going."
Lidge was placed on the 15-day DL Saturday, then flew to Philadelphia Sunday to be examined by a specialist. He had surgery this morning to repair the sports hernia. He'll be cleared to start throwing in three weeks, and he might not need much time on a rehab assignment since he won't need to build his arm up that much as a late-inning reliever.